Amino Acid Formation in Gas Mixtures by High Energy Particle Irradiation

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Amino acids were formed from carbon monoxide, nitrogen and water, which are possible constituents of the primitive earth's atmosphere, by irradiation with high energy particles (components of cosmic rays). Glycine yield was proportional to the total energy deposited to the gas mixture, and its G-value was as high as 0.02 when the carbon monoxide/nitrogen ratio was 1. Based on an estimate of the effective energies of various types of energy sources available in the primitive earth's atmosphere for amino acid synthesis, it is suggested that cosmic rays were one of the most important energy sources for the synthesis of amino acids on the primitive earth.

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